13 July 1985
What started out as a one-off charity single organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in response to the famine in Ethiopia, turned into the largest single event in rock history. 1.5 billion viewers across 100 countries tuned in live to watch the biggest names in rock and pop perform for free in over the course of the day. The main performances began at Wembley Stadium in London and continued in JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.
The most impressive thing about the day was the world-class line up that Bob Geldof badgered into performing on the day. Among many others, The Who, Dire Straits, David Bowie, U2, Queen, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, The Beach Boys and a reformed Led Zeppelin all took part.
There was a particularly impressive contribution from Phil Collins who managed (with the help of Concorde) to perform in both London and Philadelphia on the same day. The event raised more than $280 million in aid for Ethiopia; though it didn't change the world completely, it was effective as a consciousness raiser and set a trend for huge charity gigs that continues to this day